Show + Tell with Paul Flynn
While devouring Hillary Rodham Clinton’s riveting tell-all biography, I couldn’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if Trump had faced a less flustered opponent drawn from his own playing field. Kris Jenner, say. Last week marked the 10th anniversary of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The momager of America’s First Family of reality TV has heralded the great, dynastic American saga of her times. She is its unmitigated success story. Life’s bruises simply bounce off her.
No TV show divides the world with the polarity of The Kardashians. The Mitfords of Instagram are a stark mirror held up to our moment; our vanity and consumption, the hard luxury and soft comfort of our ambitions, the strength of our families. What began as a sisterly take on The Hills has outlived the shows that were supposed to define their age: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Girls. Whether you like The Kardashians or not (I love it), 10 years is a monumental bellwether occasion.
As it ploughs into its 14th season, Jenner’s offspring are in rude health, women swimming in an unapologetic fortune of their own creation, living lives they chose, on their own terms, loving one another deeply, publicly. Its key cast are loud, vulgar, horny, frank and revel in their raw power, feminising traditionally male traits without blinking a smoky eye. We already have major clues to the season 14 arc drawn from real life. Kim’s surrogacy, Khloé’s relationship with Tristan Thompson, Kourtney’s singledom. For the previous 13, Kim has become the 21st century’s marketing overlord. Kendall Jenner is a verified blue-tick supermodel. At 20, Kylie is about to become the figurehead of the most lucrative cosmetics brand in the world. The family father has opened up a new conversation on trans issues which can make genuine claims to changing the world. Never have men looked more like bit-part players in a seamlessly rotating, cacophonous business/dramatic/domestic narrative. It is the Kardashians’ world now.
While Hillary was toiling through her Ivy League education, Kris was training to be an air stewardess. The former botched her chance to capture the national pulse, to shape the planet in her desired image. The latter nailed it, with added contouring. Happy birthday, y’all. Sundays, 9pm, E!
INSIDE THE BIGGEST BOX HITS EVERY WEEK